We’re reviewing our Character Appraisal for the Marchmont, Meadows and Bruntsfield Conservation Area. Originally designated in 1987, the Character Appraisal was last reviewed in 2007.
What is a conservation area and why do we designate them?
Conservation areas are defined ‘as areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance’. Edinburgh has designated 50 conservation areas over the last 50 years with many of them designated in the early 1970s. They cover historic land, public parks, designed landscapes or railways but most contain groups of buildings extending over areas of the city. It is a statutory requirement for local authorities to review conservation areas and consider whether new conservation area designations are needed.
What are the effects of conservation area status?
Conservation area status does not place a ban upon all new development within its boundaries. It does however, mean that new development will normally only be granted planning permission if it can be demonstrated that it will not harm the special character or appearance of the area. Conservation area status also brings a number of special controls including:
- The demolition of unlisted buildings requires Conservation Area Consent;
- Some permitted development rights are removed;
- Alterations to windows are also controlled in conservation areas in terms of the Council’s guidelines; and
- Works to trees are controlled.
Guidance used to set out what we expect from development in Conservation Areas can be found here.
What is the purpose of Character Appraisals?
Character appraisals are produced to help manage change. These set out what makes the conservation area special and helps to make decisions on proposals that may affect the character of an area. All new development should preserve or enhance the conservation area. Change should be based on an understanding of the historic and urban design context.
What are the changes?
The reviewed character appraisal updates the text for its publication as a digital document which will include images, photographs and interactive maps. The review includes an update on some of the area’s larger public buildings and includes a new management section that sets out the relevant legislation policies and guidance used in assessing development proposals in the Conservation Area. This section also identifies particular development pressures within the Conservation Area.
Have your say
You can give us your views on the revised Marchmont, Meadows and Bruntsfield Conservation Area Character Appraisal until the 16 December.